Does LIV Golf Have Q-School? Explaining the Tour’s Qualifying Process

Published 12/05/2022, 6:30 PM EST

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via Reuters

LIV Golf Invitational Series is different from the other official golf tournaments. The major factors that make it unique from the Tour events are its 54-hole format, shotgun starts, and 48-player field. However, do the Saudi-backed league has a different way of selecting golfers for each season, or do they share the same Q-School method as the other Tours?

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Q School or Qualifying School is the term used to denote the preliminary competitions each aspiring golfers have to go through to earn a Tour ticket. Almost all the Tours like PGA, DP World, Asian, LPGA, and Korn Ferry Tours hold it to determine who among the hundreds of amateurs are eligible to earn a ticket on the Tour. 

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Notably, the Saudi-backed league will have its second season of events in 2023, and the Q School method will not be used to pick the players. Reports suggest it will use ‘relegation’ to eliminate players from the end of the second season. 

What is relegation in the LIV Golf? 

Relegation might be a new term for many fans of golf. However, it is not a new concept at all. The PGA Tour has been using it for a long time to take away the card of players who are not in the top 125 FedEx Cup rankings. 

Similarly, according to their rankings, LIV Series will also provide certain points to the top 24 players from each tournament from next season. And by the end of the season, the players not in the top 24 will be relegated. 

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However, unlike the PGA Tour, where players are independent contractors, the league has a contract with many of its players. Hence, it is not easier to eliminate a player based on their ranking. 

It will all come down to the contract between each player and the management, which will decide whether they will be exempt from relegation or not. According to Sports Illustrated, the team captains will most likely be the ones who will get an exemption from the top 24 rank cut. 

Is there any other process to eliminate players on the Invitational Series?

Players without contracts will face the most problems in the LIV Series. Even without relegation, they can lose their playing rights in the events. Teams will have the chance to replace their players according to its wish. 

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Hence, when a player without a contract doesn’t get picked by his team, he will lose his right to play in LIV events. On the contrary, the player with a contract can still play in the league through invitation, even if he doesn’t get selected by a team. 

No information is available regarding the content of the league’s agreement with each of its players. Hence, it is tough to point out who will be playing in the LIV events for a long time and who won’t. 

Although the process might sound hard, players, relegated or new, will get a chance to play in the Invitational Series from next season through ‘Promotions.’

What are promotions on the LIV Golf league? 

‘Promotions’ is the Q School for LIV Golf Series. Like the Q School, players will participate in the series of events in 3-4 days with a potential 36-hole finale to qualify for the league tournaments. 

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According to SI, the Promotions event will take place for the first time after the 2023 season to find players for the 2024 season. And for the first round of the competition, 80 to 100 players will compete. This includes Nos. 6-32 from the International Series money list, contracted team-substitute players, and all category-exempt players. The criteria for player exemptions are:

  • Nos. 2-32 on the money list from the Asian Tour International Series
  • Major champions from the last 5 years
  • Amateur champions from the previous season
  • Players in the Top 75 in the OWGR Standings
  • Previous season champions from the PGA and DP World Tour
  • LIV Golf relegated players from the last two years
  • Previous President Cup and Ryder Cup members

In the second round, the Top 20 from the first 18-holes and relegated members from the previous season will compete. The field will also include 2-5 players of the International Series and non-contractual LIV players (no. 24-44) who are not picked by their teams. Finally, the top 16 from round 2 will compete in two other rounds. And three in the top will get a chance to play in the 2024 season.

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Watch This Story: Golf World Disagrees With Phil Mickelson Over Latest LIV Golf Comments

LIV Golf Invitational Series is a new concept for the golf community. However, their process to pick the players for subsequent seasons is similar to the ones fans know.

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Written by:

Anjana Prabhakaran

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Anjana Prabhakaran is a Golf content writer at EssentiallySports. She has completed her Master's degree in Public Administration and considers researching as one of her hobbies. As her family is interested in sports, Anjana grew up watching every sport on television.
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Edited by:

Rohini Kottu

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